Overview | Strategic Planning is a comprehensive process for determining what a business should become and how it can best achieve that goal. It appraises the full potential of a business and explicitly links the business’s objectives to the actions and resources required to achieve them. Strategic Planning offers a systematic process to ask and answer the most critical questions confronting a management team—especially large, irrevocable resource commitment decisions. The objective is to develop an advantageous business model that will profitably differentiate the company from its competitors.

Methodology | A successful Strategic Planning process should:
1. Describe the organization’s mission, vision and fundamental values;
2. Target potential business arenas and explore each market for emerging threats and opportunities;
3. Understand the current and future priorities of targeted customer segments;
4. Analyze the company’s strengths and weaknesses relative to competitors and determine which elements of the value chain the company should make vs. buy;
5. Identify and evaluate alternative strategies;
6. Define stakeholder expectations and establish clear and compelling objectives for the business;
7. Prepare programs, policies and plans to implement the strategy;
8. Establish supportive organizational structures, decision processes, information and control systems, and hiring and training systems;
9. Allocate resources to develop critical capabilities;
10. Plan for and respond to contingencies or environmental changes;
11. Monitor performance.

Application | Strategic Planning processes are often implemented to:
• Change the direction and performance of a business
• Encourage fact-based discussions of politically sensitive issues
• Create a common framework for decision-making in the organization
• Set a proper context for budget decisions and performance evaluations
• Train managers to develop better information to make better decisions
• Increase confidence in the business’s direction